All Blacks legend Dan Carter knows a thing or two when it comes to winning Rugby World Cups.
A key cog in the rebirth of New Zealand Rugby in the wake of their devastating 2007 World Cup quarterfinal exit, Carter would play a key role in their back-to-back titles in 2011 & 15.
Cruelly struck down during the pool stages, Carter’s absence throughout the play-off portion of the tournament did not diminish his role in raising the team from chokers to champions.
Four years later, Carter would play a pivotal role as the All Blacks fielded arguably the most talented team ever seen at a Rugby World Cup.
It was fitting that the man regarded as quite possibly the greatest ever player would finish his career with a flourish on that remarkable day at Twickenham Stadium.
Thus when Carter is asked his opinion on flyhalves, it is worth taking note.
Recently he was asked which of the Springbok flyhalves he would pick to start saturday’s final.
“[In the semi-final against England the Springboks] needed someone who would be calm, clear and decisive in a big game with World Cup experience. That is why they had Pollard on the bench. If he will be on the bench this week, it’s highly unlikely. Just to have that depth and control.
“I think with the pressure, the experience of Pollard in such a big occasion, with the hurt and learnings he had from 2015, he’s been on both sides, successful and unsuccessful campaigns.
“He’s really going to play a key part, having that experience out there right out from the get-go.” Carter said.
Sympathising with regular starter Manie Libbok, Carter said, “It’s a tough one to take for Libbok but he has been a fantastic player, in different conditions, dry conditions, when it’s a bit more open.”